Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Czech Republic : Historic Centre of Telc (1992)

The houses in Telc, which stands on a hilltop, were originally built of wood. After a fire in the late 14th century, the town was rebuilt in stone, surrounded by walls and further strengthened by a network of artificial ponds. The town's Gothic castle was reconstructed in High Gothic style in the late 15th century.

The town of Telt, located near the south-western border between
Moravia and Bohemia, is in a region that was thickly forested until the
13th century. The origins of the settlement are unclear: there was an
early medieval settlement at Star/e M&to to the SE of the present town,
but there is no mention of Tel8 in documentary records before 1333-5,
when reference is made to the existence there of an important castle
(and presumabl y also a church and settlement). The town itself was
probably founded in the mid 14th century.

It developed on a hilltop, round a market square in the form of an
elongated triangle. The town was surrounded by stone walls, further
strengthened by a network of ponds. Until a fire in 1386 most of the
houses were wooden, but they were reconstructed in stone. The parish
church of St Jacob, built in 1360-72, also had to be rebuilt. The Gothic
castle was reconstructed in High Gothic style in the later 15th century.

The second half of the 16th century was a period of great prosperity
under Zacharias of Hradec, who began work on the Renaissance castle.
He also rebuilt the market place in the same style following another
devastating fire. The resulting town is an outstanding example of
Renaissance town planning and architecture.

Baroque elements were introduced by the Jesuits, who built a college
(1651-65) and the Church of the Name of Jesus (1666-67). At the same
time Baroque gables were added to the facades of some of the houses in
the market place; Rococo and classical elements also followed in later

The Industrial Revolution of the early 19th century saw considerable
cultural awakening in the region and increased prosperity. Nevertheless,
the town of Tel: retained its traditional character.

The town covers 9 ha and contains 85 designated historical monuments.
Its centre is the Renaissance chateau, which retains substantial evidence
of its Gothic precursor. The Golden Hall to the north of the castle
complex is notable for its fine gilded ceiling of 1561. which shows
considerable Italian influence. The latest phase of reconstruction was
under the charge of Baldassar Maggi of Arogno, and dates to the late 16th

The houses in the market place, although embellished with facades from
various periods, are basically Renaissance and conform to a standard plan.
The parish Church of St Jacob has a twin-a&led layout dating from the
early 14th century: a Renaissance choir was added in 1638 and the
Gothic tower was crowned with a Baroque dome in 1687.

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